As affiliates of CreativeLive, we had the opportunity to review a class for you! If you haven’t heard of CreativeLive, it’s a wonderful online resource for learning. If you happen to catch a class live, you can watch it for free! Their quilting class catalog (aff. link) isn’t very large, but we thought it would be fun to try out improvisational quilt piecing. It’s not something we have had any experience with in the past, so we didn’t really know where to start. The class that we watched is called 10 Ways to Love Improvisational Quilting by Malka Dubrawsky (aff. link).
This is a class that we recommend quilting along as you watch. The pace allows for that, and if you aren’t sewing along, it will get a little bit repetitive. It’s just like going to a real quilting class, except you don’t have to leave home, and you can pause and watch it over again. The class includes ten different projects to try, plus lots of nifty quilting tips scattered throughout. If you are already a quilter, some of it will be unnecessary, but you can always learn something new from someone else’s methods.
It was very interesting to see the method of improv quilting, since by definition it is not measured or planned exactly, but you have to start somewhere! We loved the Drunkard’s Path and the String Diamond blocks, and those are the blocks from the class that we are sharing with you today.
This one was a lot of fun. She still recommended using pins for the curves, but we have to confess that we didn’t, and it worked out okay for us. The whole idea of improv piecing is that you don’t really measure or use rulers, so using pins seemed not in keeping with the method. (We do have to add the disclaimer that we are pretty experienced with piecing curves, so if you aren’t, you will most likely want to use pins.)
One of the points of this course was that you should “embrace the wonkiness” of the blocks, and we just love that sliver of blue that happened right in the middle of the circle. Our other favorite block from the class is the String Diamond.This block turned out almost too perfect to look improvised, but that is definitely not a bad thing! While the strips are pretty straightly cut, the points don’t match up at all between the blocks, which is one of our favorite wonky things about this one. One thing that improv piecing eliminates is a lot of time wasted on trying to make everything perfect. Mistakes and wrong cuts turn into creative license, and it’s quite relaxing. The fun thing about it is that there is always a quick fix for when blocks don’t match up, and it’s just to add another piece of fabric, which usually turns into our favorite part of the block!
If you’d like to give improvisational quilting a try, this class (aff. link) is a great place to start. There’s a preview portion of the class you can watch before you buy. If you can catch a rebroadcast live, you can also watch the whole thing for free, but you won’t be able to pause or rewind any of the segments. Either way, you ought to give improv piecing a try!
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